Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Thought/Technique Archive

Technique of the Week (March 2nd, 2008)

From Kyoshi David Baker
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA

"Front kick (mae-geri)"

Our front kick is the primary kick of our system. It was developed during the
early 1920s by Ankichi Arakaki as tsumasaki-geri (toe-tip kick.) It is delivered as
a snap kick and is characteristic of our system because other styles typically pull
their toes back to deliver a static, thrust-style kick using the ball of their foot.

There are three parts to our kick:
1. Up: Lift the knee high, as close to the front of the body as possible,
using the psoas muscle. Meanwhile, the hamstrings keep the
foot under the hip.
2. Out: The foot kicks forward, using the quadriceps,
with the toes pointed forward.
3. Back: The foot snaps back to the “pocket”, using the hamstrings.

All in one smooth motion, showing balance at the end.

The emphasis is on #3, snapping the kick back significantly quicker than it goes
out. Much like a whip is cracked. (Or a wet towel in an adolescent locker room.)

Then, after the kick is executed, step the foot down, while under control.
Do not fall forward.

Hanshi Scaglione was the technical advisor for an exhaustive magazine article
on the subject, written by a former deshi, Jeff Brooks, about a decade ago.
If anyone has a copy of that article, would you please upload it to the group?

From Kyoshi David Baker
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA